Interactive origami art with Raspberry Pi

Ross Symons is an incredible origami artist who harnessed Raspberry Pi and Bare Conductive’s Pi Cap board to bring his traditional paper creations to life in an interactive installation piece.

Video by White On Rice


The Pi Cap is “[a]n easy-to-attach add-on board that brings capacitive sensing to your Raspberry Pi projects.” Capacitive sensing is how touchscreens on your phone and tablet work: basically, the Pi Cap lets the Raspberry Pi know when something – in this case, an origami flower – is being touched.

Lovely photo from Bare Conductive

Aaaand relax

Ross named his creation “Wonder Wall – an Origami Meditation Mural”. Visitors put on headphones next to the origami flower wall, and listen to different soothing sounds as the Pi Cap senses that one of the green flowers is being touched.

The Raspberry Pi runs code from Python library PyGame to achieve the sound effects.

Green and white Origami flowers
Origami flowers ready for the installation. Photo from Bare Conductive

Electric paint

64 origami flowers were mounted to a canvas, a much lighter and more readiliy transportable option than a big wooden board.

On the back of the board, the Pi Cap and Raspberry Pi connect to each origami flower with electric paint and copper tape. The electric paint “solders” the copper tape to the Pi Cap, and also allows for connections around corners.

Drop a comment below if you’ve ever used electric paint in a project.

Pi Cap board and electric paint
The Pi Cap board connects to origami flowers with electric paint (being applied from the white tube) and copper tape. Photo from Bare Conductive


Check out Ross’s beautiful Instagram account @white_onrice. It’s full of incredible paper creations and inspired stop-motion animations. Our favourite is this little crane having a whale of a time.

Lastly, make sure to follow White On Rice on YouTube for more mesmerising origami art.

1 comment

Robert Wiltshire avatar

I painted a black and white picture of a tiger with RGB LED behind the eyes. Touching different stripes changed the colours of the eyes. It used conductive paint and an Arduino Nano with the capacitive sense library. Because there does not have to be actual touch it is possible to overpaint the black conductive paint or put it behind other materials.

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